What I didn't expect to write.
You'll have to bear with me while I write a personal post without getting, well.... personal. I don't mean to tease you with some vague, serious post but I'm starting to think maybe it's part of being a "writer" at heart. Once I get my thoughts and emotions formulated in my mind into something solid, the next step just naturally seems to be writing it down and sharing it with others. Beth Moore once said, "You know you're a teacher if the moment you learn something new and exciting, the first thing you wanna do is teach it to someone else." I guess you know if you're a writer when the moment you experience something significant, you want to express it in writing.
Not too long ago I wrote about a season that I thought was coming to a close. I thought that I would collapse into anger and confusion if I found myself in that season again, but here we are again and I don't feel angry.
Thank God for that.
I do feel confused and frustrated, but I mostly keep thinking about the little story from John 6:66-70. It was just after Jesus had said something insane-sounding to a large crowd: "Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me."
And people were shocked and horrified and confused, and many disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. That's exactly what it said, "they turned back and no longer walked with him."
I had been vaguely remembering how Peter responded so faithfully even when things got weird, but when I actually re-read the whole scene, I wept immediately over the first sentence. "Many disciples turned back and no longer walked with him." I guess because that's partly a temptation in my heart... to disagree with God about this and therefore distance myself from him. But when I read it so plainly like that, how they were so uncomfortable with Jesus at that point that they just couldn't accept him, so they turn away and no longer walk with him. Just like that. They're gone and no longer walk with him ever.
It broke my heart for Jesus and for them. How much they lost from their own unwillingness to believe! They no longer walked with Jesus, no longer heard him speak the words of life, no longer saw his miracles, no longer knew his voice. And Jesus of course knew their hearts, but the moment still must have hurt when he actually sees them turn their backs and walk away forever. So he looks to his own and says, "What about you? Do you want to go away as well?" And sweet, crazy, zealous Peter (whom I already kind of loved) says simply, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed, and come to know, that you are the Holy One of God."
If Jesus's feelings were hurt to see the others reject him (which I kinda think they must have been, at least a little) then Peter's words must have been like salve on the wound. No wonder he loved that crazy Peter so well, despite everything. And Jesus says, "Did I not choose you, the Twelve?"
It's barely ten verses but it has meant so much to me these past few days. I do not understand what God is doing or why confusing things are happening. I do not like what he is expecting me to trust. But in all honesty... what else would I ever do? Refuse him? Reject him? No longer walk with him? I have believed, and come to know, that he is God. He is God. Where else would I ever go? I said to my Bible study group once, "Not trusting God right now is like the equivalent of punching myself in the face."
So in the midst of crappy, confusing events that make me want to question God and say, "What are you doing? I don't get it!" I know I have the option that sadly so many have actually taken... to turn away and no longer walk with him. To look in the face of God and say, "I refuse to accept what I don't understand. I'm out." But if God wants to ask me, "What about you? What will you do now?" I know I can really only laugh exhaustedly and say, "And where else would I go? You are God. You make more sense than anything else. And I have believed, and come to know, that what doesn't make sense now will one day make perfect sense."
Hopefully he will put his hand on my shoulder, like I imagine he did to Peter, and say, "Sweet girl. Did I not choose you?"
photo credit: http://www.liesyoungwomenbelieve.com/index.php?id=420